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This doesn't surprise me, given the fact that so many groups regularly are electing a "queen." I attended one of these competitions shortly after we arrived ten years ago. It was a lengthy song/dance/drama event put on by an English-learning organization, held at the high school in Alto Boquete. Interspersed throughout the program, to much fanfare, young women dressed in elaborate, skimpy costumes came onstage to "perform"; as I recall, the performance consisted of gyrating a while to music while looking sultry. The contestants didn't appear to be connected to the English classes, and no English student appeared with them in their performances. At the end of the evening--ostensibly devoted to the educational endeavor of showcasing students' newfound English skills, remember--a Queen was elected and all hell broke loose with balloons, shouts, various noisemakers, etc. I remember that we left completely bewildered. I've witnessed more examples of this odd marriage of physical beauty with unrelated events and circumstances over the years.


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